College Football Playoff preview from a Michigan State perspective

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Jan 13, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Genral view of the College Football Playoff trophy during a press conference at Renaissance Dallas Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After following Michigan State football for 30 years, I can say with confidence that Spartan fans should feel extremely lucky to be in the current era of MSU football.

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Michigan State has a legitimate chance of making the College Football Playoff, or CFP, coming off consecutive AP top-five finishes.

Though projected just outside of the top-four in the AP preseason poll, MSU is in the conversation for a spot in the CFP and winning the national title — just ask Travis Haney of ESPN.

And not just in the conversation as “if a thousand things fall just right then State has a shot,” they’re in the conversation as “even a close loss to either Ohio State or Oregon might still get the Spartans in.”

It’s a great time to be a Spartan sports fan and we should fully embrace it while we’re here.

Jan 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans coach Mark Dantonio hoists the Leishman Trophy after the 100th Rose Bowl against the Stanford Cardinal. Michigan State defeated Stanford 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With that in mind, the following will be a breakdown of the playoff picture by conference.

Just a few years ago this kind of preview would have had no relevance to State, but since MSU is in the thick of it, it makes sense to see what the competition out there looks like.

There are four spots for the playoffs and there are five power conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC), so the most likely scenario is that those spots will go to four of the five conference champs. This is what happened in the inaugural playoff season in 2014 and I fully expect the same this year.

So this playoff picture breakdown will be done by conference with an additional couple teams who might break past the power conference champs with magical seasons.

This College Football Playoff breakdown and all subsequent breakdowns will be done from a Spartan perspective.

Next: ACC preview